The Greek word yee·oth·ehs·ee·ah translated “adoption”, means to be placed in the position of a son. This is a legal term denoting the process by which one is endowed with the status and privileges associated with kinship. This depicts the believer's relationship to God. It was the choice of God in eternity based solely on the good pleasure of His will as to who would be made children of God (heirs) through Jesus Christ unto Himself (Ephesians 1:5). It is through the medium of the Spirit of that which bears witness or communicates to our spirits’ that we are children of God, thus allowing us to cry out “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5-7). The right to call God " Father" was reserved exclusively to Jesus Christ as the Son of God; it is our identification with Christ, as members of His body that gives us this privilege of heirship also (Romans 8:17).
In Galatians 4:5, the sonship position is not portrayed as something that is acquirable by the merit or workings of those who are its recipients. It is in fact granted to God’s elect, thus it is received from Him according to the good pleasure of His good will. Therefore believers are foreordained to positions of sons through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5), and this relationship to God is effectuated through the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:15). One of the many privileges that are concomitant with being sons of God is that of being heirs. In this light it is understood that God is the one who took the initiative to bring sons to Himself, in that He knew those that were His as well as those who were not, according to the identity of their assigned designations (Romans 9:25). The transaction of adoption originated in His sovereign will before the creation of the world (Romans 8:29; 1Peter 1:20). See: “The Foreordination of the Eternal Workings of Salvation”.
The Greek word ehk·lo·yeen rendered “election”, denotes the act of choosing or selecting. A common example of election is that of a political campaign, wherein voters make a choice between candidates based on some cause or criteria as the basis for the selection. Unlike this conditionally based selection, God’s divine and unconditional election entails His sovereign choice, wherein the elect or selected ones are positionally placed into an eternal favorable relationship with Him without any conditions effectuated by those elected. This position of favor is based solely on His will, plan and purpose. In essence, there is no criteria used other than the fact that God is sovereign. However one thing is certain, election is not based on anything that is supplied, attributed or contributed by man himself. God was not influenced by mankind’s thoughts or deeds in His act of election or selection. This is verified by the fact that election occurred in eternity when none were present other than God to provide any input (Ephesians 1:4; 2Thessalonians 2:13).
Election to salvation and service is unconditional and independent from the actions or responses of mankind. There are no requirements or expectations extractable from the one(s) chosen, thus its determination is solely indeterminate of its recipient before and after the act. One’s initial association with salvation is linked to a period before the creation of the world, thus election is a completed work pre-assignable to created vessels of mercy (Romans 9:23). Those who are not elected to salvation and service are pre-assigned to created vessels of wrath (Romans 9:21). The distinction between these two designations of mankind has nothing to do with anything inherent in either group, thus it is made before either is afforded the opportunity to manifest good or evil (Romans 9:21-24).
Election is exclusively the sovereign choice of God, this holds true beginning with eternity, through the progression of time and into eternity. At no point does the choice of the relationship of salvation rest in the control of depraved mankind. There are no instances whatsoever wherein the actions of men serve as motivational incentives for God to respond in the saving of souls. God is unmoved in His selection of those who are preferred by Him, outside of Himself. Election is not in any sense that which is internally precipitated by its recipient but it is externally decreed without any consideration of any act of the one(s) chosen. See: “Who Are God’s Elect”.
The Greek word pees·tees, which is rendered “faith”, denotes total unconditional commitment or trust. It is the reliance and confidence in what God has said in His word and is not dependent on what is perceived with man’s natural senses (1Corinthians 1:17-21; 2:9-16)). It is the spiritual intelligence of God conveyed as a gift to the living spirits of His elect, enabling them to comprehend and thus communicate the things that are eternal and unseen (2Corinthians 4:18). This is in essence the enablement of God bestowed on selected men from all who are unable. Faith, according to Hebrews 11:1, gives substance to the things being hoped for which serves as the evidence of events which are not being made visible. The conveyance of faith is limited to those whom God has chosen in eternity to convey it to, thus all men do not possess faith (II Thessalonians 3:2; II Timothy 3:8).
Faith is the median through which believers acknowledge the truth of the gospel, delineating the efficacy of the vicarious death of Jesus Christ in the shedding of His blood for the eradication of the curse and penalty of sin.
From this we foist the statement that we are justified by faith alone, or freely, or by faith without works (for all these notations basically convey the same sense of thought). Thus, we believe it to be an overstatement to say that the faith we possess is a virtue, which causes us to be righteous in ourselves before God. In other words, the essence of the faith that one exercises in believing does not bring about salvation but it is the faithful accomplishments of Jesus Christ’s work on behalf of the elect that has wrought deliverance. In this light we understand that we are justified by faith alone insomuch as our faith embraces Him who in fact justifies us. Our faith is in testimony to our identification with Jesus Christ to whom it unites and joins us. Through this we are made partakers of Him and the benefits that He transfers to us. These being imputed and gifted to us are more than sufficient to make us acquitted of the offence and accounted righteous before God. Accordingly, the assurance of one’s salvation is actually invested in the merits of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ in procuring salvation for God’s elect. See “Grace Verses Works.”
The terms foreordination and predestination are sometimes used interchangeably. Foreordination denotes God’s sovereign plan, whereby He decides all that is to happen in the entire universe. Predestination is a part of foreordination; it defines the specifics of God’s eternal plan, i.e., God’s election, call (summons), justification, and glorification. In Ephesians 1:5, the Greek verb “pro·oree·sas”, rendered “foreordained” is formed from a combination of the Greek preposition “pro” meaning “before” prefixed to the word “o·ree·zo”, meaning boundary or limits or restrictions. Hence, its etymological meaning conveys the idea of to limit, restrict and mark out beforehand to “in prior time design and determine” or to “ordain before hand”, thus to specifically predestinate or predetermine.
In following the Greek word order in the usage of this word “pro●oree●sas”, it is always in the aorist tense. In interpreting this grammatical principle, its application always points to a given point or period, prior to the creating of the world when God both elected or chose and foreordained individuals to be holy (set apart) and blameless (justified) before Him and as such, to occupy a sonship position. This cuts against the grain of what many have been taught and we only ask that you follow along with the study and allow the Holy Spirit to guide your thinking. In light of all of the facts of eternity, we should keep in mind that God is omniscient and all knowing, thus nothing in this world happens by chance. God is ultimately in back of everything. He decides and causes all things to happen. He is not sitting on the sideline wondering and perhaps contemplating in trepidation, what is going to happen. He has foreordained everything “After the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11), everything is preplanned and pre-purposed; even the negative and sinful acts against Him. In all things, God who is all wisdom, always works out what He deems best and good and that, which pleases Him, is always the highest possible intelligent decision. So these eternal facts, plus God’s perfect judgment, enabled Him to sovereignly according to his purpose for the ages, foreordain us, His elect to the praise of His grace and glory (Ephesians 1:6,12). See: “Who are God’s Elect”.
The Greek word khahr·ees translated “grace”, denotes that which is given without merit or cause, thus that which is undeserved. As it relates to salvation, it is the free gift or unmerited favor of God granting “freedom” or forgiveness of the sin nature to those whom He elected in eternity, granting them acceptability and accessibility unto Him. This acceptable status excludes any effort or contribution on the part of the recipient or grantee of God’s free expression of His love. There are no works (no input whatsoever) involved; otherwise grace would not be grace (Romans 11:6). The act is performed without any obligation of God to convey or bestow it upon sinful creatures.
Ephesians 2:8-9 expressively defines the operations of grace as it
states, (literally from the Greek Manuscripts), “the gift of God, this
is not out of you, you are, having been saved by the grace through
faithfulness, not out of works, that no one might boast”. According to
this verse, grace is accomplished beforehand and independent of any
actions produced by the recipient. It is a completed and unalterable
fact, based solely on what God alone has predetermined to do, undeterred
by the actions of those who are its benefactors.
The Greek word thox·ah·zo translated “glorified”, denotes the exalted status of honor and illustrious worth or value. It is indicative of a dignified state of righteous being. The elect of God receives this distinction solely through the relationship of being positioned as sons (children) of God. The determination and actuation of this blessed act occurs prior to time and the manifestation of it occurs subsequent to time.
The Greek word loy·ee·zom·eh
translated “impute”, means “to reckon”, “to count”, “to compute”, or “to
calculate”. The English word “imputation” is derived from the Latin word
imputare, which denotes “to charge to one’s account”. Imputation
is a forensic or legal term and in this regard, there is no imputation
where “there is no law” (Romans 5:13). In a transactional sense it is an
accounting term denoting an assessment based upon transferring the value
of one entity to another. The actual term impute implies to "count
over unto one's account".
The Greek word theek·eh·o·sees, translated “justification”, denotes the placement of one in a righteous standing before God by divine declaration. Justification is a legal term. In this view, the believer stands before the judgment court of God and is declared to be justified based upon the application of the blood of Christ as the basis for the forgiveness of his sin nature. Therefore justification is more than a “not guilty verdict” in that it qualifies one to stand before God in a state of innocence because of what Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross.
Justification does not depend upon
anything contributed or provided by the one who is justified,
thus it is not internally merited but it is externally decreed. It has
nothing to do with the worthiness of the guilty one being acquitted, but
it takes into account his offence being satisfied by the provision of
the sin sacrifice (Blood of Jesus Christ). As a result of this act, the
accused one is cleared of all offences even though he is guilty as
charged, yet justice has been served in that the offence has been justly
Accordingly, justification is the total work of God in eternity unaffected and uninfluenced by anything outside of Himself. It is not about what its recipient has done or can do but its motive is solely traced to what God has done in eternity (Ephesians 1:4-6). Thus the foundation of justification is the faithfulness of Jesus Christ in providing the justice for God’s love, mercy, forgiveness and grace to His chosen ones. In this decreed state, the justified one stands face to face before God without any fear of condemnation or rejection from Him (Romans 5:1; 8:1). See “An Understanding of the Doctrine of Justification”, Exegesis on the doctrine of Justification” and “Justification, A Total Work of God” .
The Greek word eel·ahs·tee·ree·on
translated “propitiation” denotes a means of appeasing, placating or
expiating through an acceptable substitutionary offering. In general it
means, "to appease the gods." The concept speaks of that which satisfies
the justice of God. The righteousness nature of God is offended by the
sinful nature of man, thus there must be an acceptable sacrifice
offered, which is suitable to accommodate the violation of God’s
The Greek word kaht·ahl·lahy·ee rendered “reconciliation”, means to “restore to favor”. This is necessary because God is righteous and holy, thus it is impossible for Him to fellowship with sinful mankind. It was God alone who initiated the act of reconciliation in eternity (Romans 3:11). This entailed removing the enmity of the curse by the provisions of the Lord Jesus Christ through His death (which was for the complete payment of our sins). This alone is the basis for our reconciliation to God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this blessing (Romans 5:10-11). Sin is the basis for the enmity between God and man in that God is holy, just and righteous. Redeemed man was incapable of rectifying his sinful nature, thus he was in need of a savior, and God by His grace has provided the faithful workings of Jesus Christ. His death (which was for the complete payment of our sins) is the basis for the restoration of the elect to God (Rom 5:10).
It is God who initiates the reconciliation as the scripture testifies that no man understands nor seeks after God (Romans 3:11). The gospel of reconciliation distinctly identifies God as the sole initiator and instigator of the restoration process.
The understanding of this doctrinal term begins with the comprehension of the Greek preposition ahnt·ee connoting “substitution” prefixed to the word lee·tron connoting “payment of a ransom”. Together they form the Greek word ahnt·eel·ee·tron denoting the substitution of money for a slave or a prisoner in order to set one free. Thus a ransom is required to redeem or buy a release.
The Greek word ahp·ol·ee·tro·sees
translated “redemption” is in essence the accomplished work of Jesus
Christ whereby He purchased our freedom from the slave market of sin.
This transaction entails righteousness, justification and
imputation, all through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
In this regard, the elect of humanity are purchased out of the market place and set free from the bondage of sin. It was the blood, which Jesus shed on the cross that has paid the price of sin (Eph 1:7). Redemption is total deliverance from all that could ever pose a threat to the welfare or security of the one redeemed, i.e., the inquiry of sin, the curse, penalty and bondage of the Law, destruction, death and the power of sin and the grave (Romans 6:18; Galatians 3:13; 4:5; Titus 2:14).
The only hope for fallen, sinful, guilty, and depraved mankind is redemption, which includes: the eradication of the penalty of sin, the satisfaction for God’s justice and effectual deliverance from the guilt, power, dominion and consequences of sin. The redemption of sinners could be accomplished by (through) only one, the Lord Jesus Christ. When one considers the doctrine of redemption, it is illogical to phantom that this efficacy and deliverance power could be invested in any other source. See: “Exegesis of Romans 3:24”.
The Greek word theek·eh·os·een·ee
translated “righteousness”, is best defined simply as the standard of
God’s perfection. It denotes that which is just, right or holy. In this
view, absolute perfection is defined as "holiness" and only God
possesses this attribute. The Bible teaches that God alone is Holy
within His character and makeup; thus it is an attribute that is unique
only to God.
The Greek word so·tee·ree·ah
translated “salvation”, basically means to be “delivered”. In terms of
the salvation of men, it infers the meaning of being delivered from
the penalty of death (separation), which is the very opposite of
possessing eternal life (Romans 6:23). The Doctrine of Foreordination
documents that all of the acts associated with the decrees effectuating
the deliverance and positioning of God’s elect, were determined and
enacted in eternity. All men deserve the payment of death as the wages
of sin, but God’s elect have received the gift of eternal life.
Believers are saved by His grace, not their works (Ephesians
2:8-9). The works of men do not bring about salvation therefore no
works can cause one to lose it. Salvation is irreversible (it cannot be
lost) i.e., it should not be considered probation. Romans 8:33-39
conveys the message that nothing can separate us from the love of God
thus documenting the fact of eternal security. The
salvation of God’s elect was secured exclusively by Him in eternity,
thus all who are saved are also sealed unto the day of redemption (Ephesians
“The Foreordination of the Eternal Workings of Salvation”.
The Greek word ahy·ee·as·mos translated “sanctification”, denotes "separation, or a setting apart as holy unto God". In defining this term, it must be noted that the attribute of holiness is exclusively ascribed to God alone; thus man in and of his actions, is incapable of being holy or producing sanctification (Romans 3:10, 23). With this in mind, it must be ascertained that man has no input into sanctification; this being totally an act of God in which man is not a participator.
Sanctification should never be construed as a natural process in the spiritual development of the believer, nor brought down to the level of human achievement, as it is taught in much of Christendom. We are considered as holy and without blame before God simply because we were chosen in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4,5). As members of His body we are identified with Him. This identity ascribed as holiness, belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus just as righteousness is imputed unto the elect, sanctification is the act of God “separating or setting apart” selected ones (by Him) to His glory (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2Thessaionians 2:13; 1Peter 1:2).
Accordingly, so called “progressive or practical sanctification”, as some teach it, is at it’s best misleading and at it’s worst incorrect. The continuous transformation of the moral and spiritual character of the believer actually depicts ones development into maturity in the separated position in Christ Jesus. 1Corinthians 6:11 teaches that the Spirit of God washed, justified and sanctified the elect in eternity. Observe that all of the verbs in this verse of scripture (washed, justified, sanctified) as viewed utilizing the Greek grammar, are in the indicative mood (statement of fact), aorist tense (past completed action) and passive voice (action is received). Thus the essence of sanctification is something that every believer possesses positionally aside from ones personal conduct. The progression of matured conduct in those sanctified; is corroborating testimony to God’s holy attributes being practically developed in His “saints”.
The distinction of the position of “sainthood” should always be regarded in the highest esteem in ones daily life. The Greek noun ahy·ee·os rendered “saint”, denotes one who is positionally sanctified (holy), which includes all the elect of God, duly designated by the fact of being “set apart” by Him. It is exclusively by the means of election that we are separated unto God; based solely on the merit of Jesus Christ and our identification with Him. Accordingly, good moral conduct plays a very important role in testimony of the identification of the saint’s status of sanctification, which was established in eternity, as was every other aspect of our salvation.
The term sovereign entails the absolute right to execute one’s will, plan or purpose without challenge, opposition or question from anyone outside of oneself. God is the only one who fits this description. Most recognize that He is the creator of all things in the universe (Colossians 1:16). All of His creation is in total subordination to everything that He says and every act that He does. There is a bumper sticker, which reads, “God said it, I believe it and that settles it.” In actuality, it is enough to say God said it, which is what settles it.
When one considers the matter of the Sovereignty of God, few would argue that God existed before all things, being the cause uncaused. None would dispute the fact that God made all things by simply speaking them into existence. However, in the study of salvation (soteriology), many will abandon the concept of the Sovereignty of God, i.e., no longer does He have the absolute right to execute His will without input outside of Himself. Mankind has been taught to believe that they somehow have input into their salvation, believing that dead sinners within themselves are capable of initiating a relationship with God. If this popular and humanistic appraisal of man’s ability is true, then why does God emphasize in His word that He is the initiator of the salvation relationship. (Acts 13:48; Romans 8:28-30; 9:10-18, 23-24; 11: 6-7; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:3-6; 11-12; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; Titus 1:1; 2 Peter 1:10)
We do not and are not participants in God’s determinant will. The term will is defined, as what one has determined shall be done. Mankind is excluded as actors or initiators from God’s determinant will. His determinant will, plan and purpose was established in eternity, because no one other than God existed in eternity, His will is exclusive of man’s participation. The word of God teaches that the sovereignty of God concerning His choice and election falls into this category of His determined will, plan and purpose. God has an eternal sovereign plan and purpose based on His determined will to restore some (not all) of mankind back into fellowship with Himself. (Romans 9:11-21)
If one is to embrace the statement that God is Sovereign, then the fact that it is exclusively the sovereign grace of God that leads one to salvation cannot be ignored. Salvation is the direct result of God’s plan that He initiated in eternity. All things that occur in time can be traced back to God’s purpose and plan in eternity. (2 Timothy 1:9). See: “Who are God’s Elect?".
In the conveyance of the total depravity of man, it is noted that many will vehemently disagree with the idea that man is totally evil and lacks any capability of doing any good without the direct intervention of God’s motivation.
Here it is important that a distinction is made between total depravity and absolute depravity. Man in his depraved state does exercise some restraint on all the evil that he is capable of doing. All men are not murderers, bank robbers or rapists, but the fact remains that some are and that all are capable of each and every one of these heinous crimes. Of course, some would say not me! It is important to understand the value of godly influence on the ungodly nature of mankind. The fact that one is totally depraved and has the capability of doing evil does not mean that one will act on this. In order to have any semblance of a civilized society, God must and does exercise His power of restraint on the nature of some men, but one must always remember that the potential for performing any evil deed is possible. So it is not that any one of us cannot commit or perform that which we are capable of, but rather it testifies that God does control the extent to which evil conduct is manifested. God must receive the credit for this restraint, not man.
Man as originally created was made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Originally God said that man was good (Genesis 1:31). Prior to “ the fall”, Adam was in a state of goodness. After the fall, man fell under God’s judgment of death. (Genesis 2:17; 3:2-3) We must fully understand that death is in essence separation. This separation is physical and spiritual, a total cutoff from divine life.
In Romans 3:10-18 a vivid description of the depraved nature is noted. The natural man is dead in sin and his lifestyle is patterned after Satan’s blueprint for this age. Man lives in the lusts of the flesh and does the will of the mind of the flesh. The ruler of the authority of the air, namely Satan dominates man’s life (Ephesians 2:1-3).
According to Romans 3:23,”All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. So in view of God’s evaluation of mankind, and that is the only one, which matters, mankind is reprobate; he is in a state of immorality, spiritually dead. Mankind is on death row and unable to extricate himself, incapable of any input into his salvation. Therefore salvation is the total work of God. See: “Who are God’s Elect?".